January 15, 2021
When I look at my journey through life the path is anything but a straight line . If I were to draw a picture it would probably look like a sailboat tacking into the wind. Always a mountain to climb. Always more obstacles than smooth sailing. Always unforeseen challenges.
Sometimes I wonder how I’ve ended up moving through this unending, messy existence. That being said—when I’ve actually looked beneath the surface I’ve found that the skills I honed as a composer and arranger combined with the discipline of learning to play the piano well was the key.
Deep down we are all people on our own singular journey.
Sadly, when Americans are introduced to each other the default question is: “what do you do”. We are constantly defined by how we make a living. We are judged by the career path we have chosen. Professionals garner more prestige than service workers, teachers or laborers. This conditioned response is next to impossible to...
I mean really: “who ARE you?”
Are you defined by your:
I can’t speak for other cultures but I will generalize that in the Western world we like to think we are open minded. We would like to think we are evolved. We would like to think we are (you fill in the blank).
But are we really?
We are human beings. Sure. But, like all living creatures we cannot escape the fact that we are not the sentient beings we would like to think we are. We are a product of our conditioning.
If we see a stranger walking down the street or read a social media post do we not instantly assess their status in life? Do we not instantly compare ourselves to them? Are we like them? Are we different?
To be fair, this is part of our survival instinct. We are hardwired to scan our environment. We need to determine if we are safe or at risk. But what if the perception of risk is the result of our conditioning? What if our conditioning has...
Leading up to the New Year has traditionally been a time for reflection. In the past our choices were fairly predictable. We could vow to lose weight. We could decide to join a gym. We could tell ourselves we should work harder, be better people etc. etc.
Once we get back to the routines of our lives those New Year’s resolutions are easily forgotten, replaced with the urgent needs of each day. And, it’s back to normal…for better or worse.
2021 will be unlike any other moment we have experienced in our lifetimes which requires a deeper level of thought.. New Year’s resolutions for 2021 will be different.Thousands upon thousands will continue to die from Covid. Businesses will close. Jobs will be lost. People will go hungry. Millions will face eviction. Fear of getting sick will permeate our lives for the next 6 months at least. We will continue to have to deal with conspiracy theories, anti-vaxxers, anti-...
A weekly musing of art, music and life in the 21st Century
6 December 2020
Like you, some days I wake up and can’t wait to get my day going. Then there are some days that I don’t want to get out of bed, And then there are days where I have to get up but need copious amounts of caffeine to get me started. It seems like Pandemic mornings slide into the latter rather than the former. I am my most vulnerable because I know I have to find a way to keep going even though everything I’ve known to be true in the past is now uncertain. I can waft into a depression or avoidance at the drop of a hat. Then I remember I have to try to figure out how to pay my bills, stay healthy, deal with isolation and worry about my friends who are sick. Survival is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. So where do we go from here?
The term “event horizon was...
When I was a wee lad trying to figure out how to get into the film scoring business I had met an amazing woman named Else Blangsted. I used to walk with her in Coldwater Canyon near her home. A feisty, wiry woman with piercing blue eyes, one day I asked her: “how do I get into the film business?” Without hesitation she said:: “read a lot of books” and “getting hired is like dating”. The first comment was about craft. The second was about getting hired. Today I’m going to talk about craft. We can get to the dating part another day.
What in the hell does that mean? At face value it has nothing to do with music. At the time my mind was full of orchestrations, arrangements, writing songs… anything and everything you can imagine. I didn’t need a practice room. I lived in one in my head 24/7. I loved to read though… so I kinda knew where she was going with her comment. But I wasn’t...